Senate Republicans block committee hearings again

Republicans have blocked Senate committee hearings for a second consecutive day to protest moving healthcare fixes under special budget rules.
 
Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl LevinCarl LevinFight for taxpayers draws fire Gun debate shows value of the filibuster House won't vote on Navy ship-naming restrictions MORE (D-Mich.) asked for consent to hold a hearing Wednesday afternoon but Sen. Richard BurrRichard BurrGingrich, Christie top Trump’s VP list: report Homeland Security Committee pushes encryption commission in new report Clinton endorses Warner-McCaul encryption commission MORE (R-N.C.) objected. Burr said he was acting on behalf of Republican colleagues.
 

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Republicans have allowed some hearings to proceed, such as a Homeland Security Committee hearing on the nomination of Robert Harding to head the Transportation Security Administration, but have stopped others.
 
Democrats blasted their GOP colleagues for obstruction, adding to the partisan tension that has built up in the upper chamber, which is traditionally known for collegiality.
 
“What a ridiculous notion that we’ve got to come beg the minority party so we can have a hearing on the police contracting in Afghanistan,” said Sen. Claire McCaskillClaire McCaskillThe Trail 2016: Meet and greet and grief McCaskill: I wonder if people voting for Trump are embarrassed VA opposes bill aimed at helping vets in mustard gas experiments MORE (D-Mo.), chairwoman of the Homeland Security Committee Contracting Oversight Subcommittee.
 

The Republican objection derailed a Judiciary Committee hearing on the nomination of Goodwin Liu to be a judge on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
 
“Senate Republicans’ tactics of obstruction and delay know no limit,” said Judiciary Committee Chairman Pat Leahy (D-Vt.).
 
“Senate Republicans continue their ill-advised protest of meaningful health reform legislation by exploiting parliamentary tactics and Senate rules, to the detriment of the American people and, in today’s instance, at the expense of American justice,” Leahy said.